How, and why, your employee benefits strategy needs to address the pillars of employee wellbeing

Employee wellbeing has become more of a priority for employers over the last few years, and it won’t be going away anytime soon. More employees are beginning to expect support with their health and wellbeing, while employers are also seeing the benefits, like reduced absenteeism, presenteeism and a direct return on investment.

How, and why, your employee benefits strategy needs to address the pillars of employee wellbeing

A well-rounded employee benefits package should cover all five pillars of employee wellbeing: emotional, social, financial, physical and digital, as our wellbeing can be affected if even one of these areas isn’t being supported.

Here’s what those pillars of wellbeing mean in the workplace, and how your employee benefits strategy can address them.

Emotional and mental wellbeing

When we are emotionally and mentally well, we can think clearly, manage everyday challenges, and ask for help. As an employer, it is your responsibility to create an environment where people can express themselves freely and access support systems to address any emotional or mental health concerns.

It can be difficult to know how best to support your employees with their emotional and mental wellbeing, but offering an employee assistance programme as part of your benefits strategy can help. They offer your staff access to free, confidential mental health support with BACP-accredited counsellors, whenever they need it.

Social wellbeing

This pillar of wellbeing is closely connected with our mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s all about our sense of belonging, communication with other people and staying connected to boost our social, and mental, wellbeing.

As an employer, it’s important to create a culture of togetherness, promote collaboration and knowledge sharing across your business and opportunities for connection and relationship building. This can be as simple as organising short socials in company time, from weekly tea breaks to monthly quizzes or online exercise classes together. If you want to go a step further, you could send everyone a voucher so they can order a takeaway and encourage them to jump on a Teams call and chat about anything but work!

Financial wellbeing

When we’re having money troubles it can affect our mental and physical health. Being in control of our financial wellbeing means we can manage our money, plan our finances and cope with any pressures and challenges that we may face.

There are many ways you can support your employees’ financial wellbeing with a well-rounded employee benefits package. This could include offering financial education services, cashback cards and lifestyle discounts to help their salaries go further.

Physical wellbeing

We all know that our physical wellbeing is important, from exercising regularly to eating well and getting enough sleep, it can help us feel our best.

There are a few ways you can support your employees with their physical health, including offering benefits like a cycle to work scheme for staff who are commuting to the office or a discount on gym memberships, ready for when they open back up again.

Digital wellbeing

Having good digital wellbeing is all about being in control of the technology in our lives, that it helps us do our jobs, but it doesn’t overwhelm us. This includes being able to switch off from work outside of hours.

Your employees need to be properly trained on how to use the technology they need to work every day and be encouraged to take regular screen breaks throughout the day. If your workforce is remote working, it’s important to check in to make sure their workstation is set up correctly.

The author is Jamie Mackenzie, director at Sodexo Engage.

This article is provided by Sodexo Engage.

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